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Tampa Nursing Home Staff Arrested for Elder Abuse

Two nursing home aides at a facility in Winter Haven are under arrest for elder abuse after being caught on tape repeatedly abusing a patient who was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s. Yashika Zenobiaha Jones, 28, and Rose Dorlean Blaise, 35, were both hired at Palm Garden Nursing Home as certified nursing assistants. They were arrested after being caught on a secret “nanny cam” placed in the room by the resident’s son.

Dale Wilson, 53, saw bruises on the arms and legs of his father, a 76-year-old resident of the facility who suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s, dementia, and psychosis. Mr. Wilson reported the injuries to the staff at the nursing home, but the bruises continued. As a result, Mr. Wilson decided to place a hidden camera inside of an alarm clock in his father’s room to see what was going on. The video camera caught sickening footage of three separate incidents where Ms. Jones and Ms. Blaise abused Mr. Wilson’s father.

On October 7, Ms. Jones was caught rubbing her hands on the victim’s face and making punching motions to agitate him while there was another nurse in the room. On October 16, Ms. Blaise appears to lunge at Mr. Wilson’s father as he gets agitated and flails his arms. In a police report, it says the Ms. Blaise also used her legs and feet to stomp on his bare feet or kick him in the leg. Finally, on October 24, Ms. Jones again is seen making punching motions at the man. She also grabs his wrists, uses his fist to punch himself in the face, and slapped him in the face.

Ms. Jones is facing two counts of battery of an elderly person, although she has denied the accusations, and Ms. Blaise is charged with one count of battery on the elderly. Both are in the Polk County jail being held without bond. In addition, Palm Healthcare Management has put out a statement saying the two employees had been suspended without pay.

Other Allegation of Abuse

Since the arrest, another child of a former patient at Palm Garden Nursing Home has come forward with her own allegations of abuse. Donna Callahan said her mother, 84-year-old Dorthy Willbanks, had lived at the Palm Garden Nursing Home two years ago. “We had heard it was a nice place to be, but while she was there it was less than nice,” Ms. Callahan said. According to Ms. Callahan, her mother was not treated well at all, and after two different incidents the family decided to remove her from the facility. The final straw came after Ms. Willbanks complained to her daughter about being shoved around.

Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today

Nursing home abuse and neglect is one of the fastest growing problems facing the elderly, especially as they transition from being independent to these assisted living facilities. If you or a loved one suspects nursing home abuse or neglect in Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, or West Palm Beach, let our experienced lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm help. Call or contact the office today to discuss your options.

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